Events

#EMWTC14: Group 2 Preview
Date: 1/7/2014 3:15 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

As we continue our build up to the 2014 European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships our resident reporter Mark Phelan continues the countdown to Basel with a look at group 2 in both the men’s and women’s event.

EMTC Group 2 – Legendary team spirit to lift Germany

When it comes to living the ethos of team events in badminton there are few that embrace it more than team Germany. In 2012 we had the famous moustache revolution and well as their by now legendary interview invasions. All a little left of field for sure but one thing it served to do is galvanise the German machine as viable opposition to Denmark. The Germans have for so long played second fiddle to Denmark but could not have picked a better group for themselves to get this 2014 edition of the European men’s team event underway.

With Bulgaria, Slovenia and hosts Switzerland as a warm up for the Germans they could afford to take the foot off the gas and rest some of their top stars before the knockout stage. But unlike Denmark history has proven that is not the German way. Marc Zwiebler (main picture) and Co love to get on the court and play and it will be no surprise to see Zwiebler’s name first on the team sheet in their opening match against Bulgaria.

The Germans have a decent line up of singles players with Domke and Schmidt supporting Zwiebler and doubles stalwarts such as Michael Fuchs, Johannes Schöttler cleaning up points at the end of the order the Germans are sure to be the main opposition to Denmark once again in the men’s event.

What we look forward to most from Germany is to see the introduction of the younger generation as the miles start to mount up on the clocks of the old guard. Players such as Schwenger, Zurwonne and Käsbauer deserve their chance as the Germans double job trying to build to the future while offering a meaningful challenge to Denmark.

One thing is for sure when the Germans are on court you will certainly know about it as the noise levels rise considerably with every beat of the drum and blow of the horn.

Verdict: Easy group win for Germany which should allow them break in some of their more inexperienced team members. Toss a coin for the runners up spot with Bulgaria getting the nod but the home Swiss team are sure to fight until the final shuttle hits the floor with Slovenia looking to take points of each team along the way but ultimately coming up short.

Check out the full schedule of men's group 2 by clicking here.

EWTC Group 2 – Germany’s uphill battle to retain title

Two years is a short time in sport and in the case of female badminton in Germany they have experienced the unrivalled highs of winning the event in 2012 to literally have the bottom fall out of their women’s national centre in Mulheim with the self imposed exile of Schenk and Schnaase and the return of Olga Konon to Saarbrücken.

All is not well, this is common knowledge but beware the wounded lion! The likelihood of Schenk returning from the wilderness is an outside bet but Karin Schnaase is a new woman since leaving Mülheim and the German management should do everything possible to have her play in Basel.

With Schnaase as top singles the Germans will have the outright luxury of having Olga Konon at number two. Although she is now back at her club in Saarbrücken, Konon is still full of ambition to represent Germany and free from injury can beat any singles player on show in Basel.

A burden of weight will ride on the shoulders on Birgit Michels and her partnership with Johanna Goliszewski is going to be key for Germany. There is no doubt that Isabel Herttrich and Carla Nelte will clean up points at second doubles so if the Germans can galvanise moral then they do have the firepower to contend once again in Basel.



Unlike their male counterparts the German girls will get a stiff test at the group stages most likely from Spain led by Carolina Marin (pictured). With Corrales in support of Marin it is a distinct possibility that Spain could take a pair of opening singles which will heap the pressure on the back end of the German line up. But Germany have always been tactically aware and you can bet you cotton socks that the team sheet entered on that day will not allow such a scenario to manifest itself.

Bringing up the rear will be Iceland and Latvia in a group match that will most likely go down to the final game to decide who avoids last spot in the group.

Verdict: Germany to advance to knockout stages as group winners but will be looking over their shoulders at Spain. Iceland to come through in third after a ding dong battle with Latvia.

Check out the full schedule of women's group 2 by clicking here.

Stayed tuned over the coming weeks for our shakedown of the remaining groups and our predictions for the gold, silver and bronze medals at this year’s 2014 European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships in Basel, Switzerland.

Grab your #EMWTC14 tickets here.

Article by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe.

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